Betting on better scientific literacy

Dmitry Zimin, founder of the Russian philanthropic foundation Dynasty, visited CERN on 23 October. Zimin, who is himself a scientist and businessman, founded Dynasty in order to support scientific education and a greater public understanding of scientific thinking. Zimin met the Bulletin to reflect on the experience and what had interested him about CERN.
Zimin, who had read about and researched CERN before his visit, felt prepared for the physics at CERN but was greatly impressed by the collaborative “brainforce.” He observed that “The organization of all of these people is not less important as an achievement than all of the technical achievements, the collider, the experiments.” He was amazed at “how CERN has been able to organize such a grand collaboration of different people from different institutes of countries from all over the world.”

At the core of the Dynasty Foundation’s ideals is the dissemination of scientific thought. Zimin believes that the spread of superstition and reduced scientific literacy that he sees in Russia is “as dangerous as nuclear weapons …dangerous for the human being.” In CERN’s collaborative community, therefore, Zimin believes there is tremendous potential for changing this trend of illiteracy.

He expanded that given the collaborative successes within CERN, the next responsibility is to reach out. “What I would call for is to ask this intellectual elite of the world to talk to governments, to mass media, to opinion-makers in general, to communicate science all over the world, to popularize science and the scientific approach. The general goal of our foundation is exactly this goal, to communicate science and stimulate a scientific vision of the world among people.”

Zimin closed by stressing, “I admire the things which are going on here… I really admire the people and the work which is done here.”

More information about the Russian philanthropic can be found here: Foundation Dynasty

by Daisy Yuhas